Progress for School Choice in New Jersey

Last night, school choice was the topic of discussion at a Delaware Valley High School Board of Education meeting in New Jersey. On the agenda was the possibility of accepting students in the the state’s school choice program. If Delaware Valley does accept state-funded choice students, they would be the third high school in the county to do so. 

They have until April to apply to be named a school choice district, although they are hoping to decide by December. After an application is filed, the state would determine whether or not to name Delaware Valley a school choice district. The state would then pay the tuition for these students, the number of which, and in which grade levels, would be determined by the school. Upon approval, out-of-district students would be able to apply to attend starting in the 2014-15 school year. In the event that there are more applications than spaces, a lottery would be held. 

South Hunterdon Regional High School was the first high school in the county to take choice students. They received approval in May 2011 to accept 18 students in grades 8-11 and they are currently taking applications for students to begin next school year.  

No decisions were made last night, but the dialogue is an important step forward for educational reform.